A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.
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Back in June, Fredrik Backman had a small Canadian tour where he visited the town of Uxbridge, which has a large book community. My friend and I journeyed out to Uxbridge where we got to hear author Terry Fallis interview Backman and then we got to meet and get our books signed. I picked out A Man Called Ove, which I quite enjoyed!
A Man Called Ove is filled with a cast of characters that I quite enjoyed. Front and centre, you have Ove, a man who has just lost his wife as well as his job. He finds himself lost without a purpose or someone to share his life with. The novel is filled mostly with his interactions with his neighbours, whom he tolerates, but doesn’t understand. I loved all of the neighbours, especially Parvaneh and her daughters. I really enjoyed their interactions with Ove.
I didn’t expect to get so attached to the story as well as the characters. The ending definitely got me a bit choked up! I’ve read a few of Backman’s novels, but this one is by far my favourite! It’s amazing how well the novel was translated to English from Backman’s native tongue, Swedish.
4 calculators out of a potential 5. I highly recommend A Man Called Ove if you haven’t read this amazing novel yet. Also if Backman goes on another book tour and it is within driving distance, I would suggest that you check that out as well!